HIMSS has joined a new digital health project, in collaboration with Queensland Health and the University of Queensland, to help health workers in Queensland, Australia, and their partners build a data-driven roadmap for digital transformation.
The project, funded by Queensland Health and The Digital Health Cooperative Research Centre (CRC), will run in hospitals, health services and some example Primary Health Networks across Queensland’s cities, regions and remote areas.
The project will form part of a global series of tests for the new HIMSS Digital Health Indicator.
“Many jurisdictions and health services around the world want to know the level of their digital capability,” said Tim Kelsey, Senior Vice President, HIMSS Analytics International. “The new Digital Health Indicator provides actionable insights which can support improved clinical and economic outcomes. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted these knowledge gaps.”
Kelsey said HIMSS has developed an assessment process that it will conduct virtually, reducing the burden on the hospitals and health services and the Queensland Health team.
The Queensland project will map a baseline to show the current levels of digital health, and it will also identify rapid response opportunities for investment to quickly boost services, according to Professor Keith McNeil, Chief Clinical Information Officer and Assistant Deputy Director General at Queensland Health.
“The HIMSS program gives us the chance to assess our digital health and continuity of care maturity in an Australian context, and to measure our progress towards a digital health ecosystem,” McNeil said. “This project will show our ability to connect the dots for patients in different sectors – and it will show those services that need investment and support, so we can develop a plan that allocates resources where they will have the strongest impacts.”
Associate Professor Clair Sullivan from the Centre for Health Services Research at the University of Queensland said the challenge of achieving the future of digital healthcare is making sure it is effective and delivers value.
“This project is about centring our digital transformation around the consumer by understanding their journey across the care continuum,” Sullivan said. “We also need to understand what health outcomes are important and how digital technology can help us achieve these better outcomes for our consumers. As we learn, we can develop a digital health roadmap in order to deliver consumers with better care.”
Dr. Michael Costello, CEO (interim) of the Digital Health CRC, said “Understanding the maturity of our national digital health footprints could potentially identify ‘maturity’ leading and lagging indicators, so our investments are directed to improving our digital health maturity.”
Health systems are at a crossroads—they are facing financial and resource limitations, while consumers are looking for more personalized care. The digitally enabled health system of the future focuses on health and wellness, and is the key to connecting consumers to health systems that will have a transformational impact on care delivery and quality.